Combating Sickle cell disease2019-03-12T13:03:48+00:00

Combating Sickle cell disease

— The world’s leading genetic disease —

Lutte contre la drépanocytose
Sickle cell disease is a serious chronic genetic affliction that is believed to affect more than 300,000 infants in sub-Saharan Africa each year. These figures motivated Fondation Pierre Fabre to join the fight against this little publicised disease in 2006.

Approximately 50 million people worldwide are carriers of sickle cell trait and therefore likely to transmit this genetic haemoglobin disorder to their offspring. This disease, emblematic of the populations of Africa and its diaspora, limits the life expectancy of those afflicted if they do not receive proper treatment: it is thought that half the children die before the age of five.

On the African continent, where some countries already have up to a 2% affliction rate among newborns, sickle cell disease may well gain momentum. A population boom is expected there, seeing a billion more people by 2050. Beginning immediate investment in therapeutic research would therefore seem an urgent priority. In addition to treatments to relieve pain and combat complications, a basic course of treatment must be developed to curtail transmission of the disease.

We are still far from reaching this objective. In the meantime, the Foundation is focusing its efforts on neonatal screening for the disease, an uncommon practice in Africa, and facilitating access to proper care. Starting with the Research Centre to combat sickle cell disease (CRLD) founded in Bamako, it intends to broadly disseminate the necessary skills for this battle elsewhere on the continent and in the Caribbean region, and forge effective South-South collaborations.


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Special “Haiti Week” with Radio France Internationale


The Foundation, which has been working on sickle-cell treatment programmes on the island since 2014, supports the multiple episodes that the RFI “Priorité Santé” radio programme is devoting to projects that improve inhabitants’ access to healthcare.
Haiti is on the United Nations’ list of least-developed countries and is facing major health challenges.

Madagascar: a mission on the frontlines to fight sickle cell disease and train pharmacists


During a mission in Madagascar, a delegation from the Fondation Pierre Fabre took part in the seventh annual REDAC (Sickle Cell Disease Research Network in Central Africa) Congress this past 13-15 June. Another important event on this mission was a meeting with the Minister of Higher Education and Research and decision-makers at the University of Antananarivo to formalise plans to give the University of Madagascar its first Faculty of Pharmacy by 2020.

Senegal – Sickle Cell Disease: tangible progress in the early-stage screening study


Operational since the first quarter of 2017, the Centre for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Outpatient Care (CERPAD) at Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, Senegal, was created out of the Pierre Fabre Foundation commitment to a far-reaching operational programme to study the early-stage screening of newborns. This update sets out the current status of this flagship programme in the fight against sickle cell disease in Senegal.